Magazine article Training & Development

The Flight to Dot.Coms

Magazine article Training & Development

The Flight to Dot.Coms

Article excerpt

It used to be that there wasn't much new in the world. Then along came the digital revolution and, Barn! there's little that hasn't changed.

Depending on how you look at it, this is either a great time or a terrible time to be in the training and learning game. Many training and HR professionals are going to dot.coms. In a survey of 473 HR professionals, the Society for Human Resource Management measured a 17 percent voluntary turnover rate among employees last year.

The money motivates some people. Who hasn't heard the stories of Internet entrepreneurs turned overnight millionaires? Shelby Rogers, a producer at an interactive agency who used to work at About.com, knows nearly 20 people who have migrated to dot.coms from traditional companies. She says, "Some people were idealistic and wanted to change the world, some were vain and wanted to be part of history, but most wanted to strike it rich."

But even dot.com players who will never hit the jackpot can't deny the thrill of being part of the new-economy action. Get rich quick or not, it's an exciting time to work at a technology company. The new frontier of the 1960s was space; we have the Internet. We are discovering it, exploring it, and settling it--all at the same time.

Chet Riley, a Lieutenant Colonel who was recently retired from 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps to join findaspace.com, says, "I think the big draw is being able to build something from scratch."

Workers used to being a faceless employee in a maze of cubicles are being given the opportunity to make a real impact in the world, just by going to work every day.

For Jeanne Allert, principal at Ellipsis Partners, a group of consultants that helps nonprofit companies use Internet strategies, one of the highs is the "incessant jolt of adrenaline that comes with a rapidly changing industry."

With a dearth of established industry practices, every moment is an opportunity for learning. Allert says, "You're learning every hour, and then you have to quickly turn and teach someone else, and go back for more. It's a new classroom every day; everyone teaches, everyone learns."

That opportunity for learning at dot. …

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